I know this whole situation sucks and regardless of where we stand with our opinions on current and proposed issues that affect our dreams of a career with the FDNY we are all united by the fact that our end goal is to become part of the brotherhood. The opportunity to even aspire to take the test to become a part of that was achieved by the sacrifice of the men and women who dedicated their lives past and present to protecting this country with their own blood. Those of us who have never been a part of our armed forces can never claim to understand the sacrifices they made and this couldn't be anymore true than with Brendan Marrocco. His sacrifice has taught me that ultimately no matter how much this all may suck or how bad things may get they can always get worse. Everytime I forget that I just look at my wrist(those that volunteered know what I'm referring to) and I push that much harder to reach that goal. He is a true hero and that hero finally has a place of his own to call home. Thanks to him and all of you that have served and are serving. I can't wait to see you all at the Rock.
Handicapped hero gets new state-of-the-art home after losing limbs in army
BY HENRICK KAROLISZYN AND CHRISTINA BOYLE
DAILY NEWS WRITERS
Sunday, June 12th 2011, 4:00 AM
Two years*after losing all four limbs in a bomb explosion in Iraq, a Staten Island soldier was finally given the keys to his new, state-of-the-art home yesterday.
And he could not stop smiling.
Brendan Marrocco beamed with pride as he crossed the threshold into his new abode in Prince's Bay, which has been tailor-made to suit his every need.
"It's very overwhelming. The house is amazing," the 24-year-old said.
"I can finally just try to live my life like everybody else. I really appreciate this."
Marrocco was behind the wheel of an armored vehicle on Easter Sunday 2009 when a roadside bomb went off underneath him.
Just 22 years old at the time, he became the first Iraq and Afghanistan veteran to become a quadruple-amputee from combat and survive.
The battle back to health and independence has been long for Marrocco, who has spent the past two years at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
Shortly after he was injured, his brother gave up his high-paying job at Citigroup to move into the rehab facility with him, and his parents rarely left his side.
Marrocco said finally having a home to call his own felt "unreal" yesterday, and his first priority once the crowds of well-wishers subsided was to kick back and relax with a beer.
"Finally, I can leave the hospital institution and go back to life," he said. "It's been a long time since I lived in Staten Island. I'm very grateful."
Marrocco's high-tech 3,000-square-foot digs are worth about $900,000 and took 10months to build.
It was specially crafted using donations from the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation and Building Homes for Heroes.
The house is equipped with an elevator, a handicapped-accessible entrance, interior and exterior heated floors, and remotely controlled kitchen cabinets and appliances that can be controlled using an iPad.
Marrocco will sleep on a custom-made lowered bed, and there are sensor lights throughout the home and a Jacuzzi.
"It's an indescribable feeling," his father, Alex Marrocco, 54, said as he watched his son check out his new home.
"It's been a hell of a journey, but knowing that he has this house is just incredible. I feel a rush of emotions."
The section of the house that gives the young NASCAR enthusiast the most joy is the three-car garage for his Dodge Charger SRT, which he hopes to be able to drive one day with prosthetics.
"I can't wait until that time comes," Marrocco said. "One of the first things I asked about was the garage.
"I don't think things could be going better in my situation," he added.